Never read your reviews!

New book. Time to check for reviews.

Because at time of writing this I was addicted to Google, searching said book title plus my name. All authors do it. We need the quotes for marketing while the novel is still fresh.

No reviews on Amazon several weeks after release, but a few on Goodreads. But, curiously, some of my other books have newer reviews. Nice. Then I read them.

Photo on VisualHunt

I’m blessed. I get some great reviews.

But I also get some bad reviews for books that other people like. What interests me more is the ratio of good to bad reviews I get for a certain novel. It gives me insight to that novel’s universal appeal.

This morning I read a bad review for a book that’s generally been well received. Okay, that’s fine. Not every book is for everyone. But this was one of those Goodreads ‘teaser reviews’. The kind that give you a paragraph then urge you to click the link to visit someone’s blog where the full review lives.

Alright. She didn’t like the book.

But then I read the comments. A lot of people thanking her for the review, some saying they were going to read it but are now not going anywhere near it. Yikes!

A long time ago someone reviewed my first novel and wasn’t a fan. Someone commented but the reviewer replied by telling them not to adopt their opinion. Then continuted to tell them that they should make up their own mind because they might like it. As it was my first release, I also commented trying to win back a potential new reader. I now know that’s not author etiquette.

Photo via Visual Hunt

On the flip side, one novella that hardly made a splash when it was released, has been blessed with new reviews.

And they’re good. Hallelujah!

Even with good critiques there will be inconsistencies with how the reviewer perceived parts of the story. Everyone sees your words through their own lens.

The blogger that wrote the bad review I read this morning was under the illusion that this book was supposed to have explicit sex. Um, nope. So, one of the comments complained about sex scenes that don’t deliver. Now I have a review that hints I’m bad at writing sex scenes.

As an author you will always jump for joy when someone loves what you’ve written, but eventually, you will develop a thicker skin when someone hasn’t. And you’ll remember that you don’t like every book you read either.


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